Transcript: The People's Internet | Oct 03, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, checkered pink shirt, and spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "The people's internet? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says TECHNOLOGY... AND
ESPECIALLY SOCIAL MEDIA MADE
POSSIBLE THROUGH THE INTERNET...
HAS PUT THE WORLD IN TOUCH IN
WAYS NEVER BEFORE THOUGHT
POSSIBLE.
BUT IN DOING SO, SOME WORRY THAT
IT REPLICATES THE ADVANTAGES,
AND DISADVANTAGES, THAT ALREADY
EXIST IN OUR GLOBALIZED WORLD.
RAMESH SRINIVASAN IS THE FOUNDER
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA'S DIGITAL CULTURES
LAB, AND HIS NEW BOOK EXPLORES
EXACTLY THAT.
IT'S CALLED "WHOSE GLOBAL
VILLAGE? RETHINKING HOW
TECHNOLOGY SHAPES OUR WORLD,"
AND HE JOINS US NOW.

Ramesh is in his forties, with short gray hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray coat and pink shirt.
A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a profile painting of a man who's hair and neck are made of skyscrapers.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Ramesh says IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE IN PERSON.

Steve says YOU'VE BEEN ON THE
PROGRAM BEFORE BUT IT WAS ALWAYS
THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, NOT IN THE
FLESH.
WHOSE GLOBAL VILLAGE.
WHO DOES THAT REFER TO.

The caption changes to "Ramesh Srinivasan. Author, 'Who's global village.'"
Then, it changes again to "Myth of the global village."

Ramesh says IN THE
1960s, OUR GOOD OLD TORONTO
RESIDENT MARSHALL McLUHAN HAD
MADE THE POINT THAT HE THOUGHT
THE WORLD WOULD TURN INTO A
GLOBAL VILLAGE.
SO HE WAS TALKING ABOUT AND
ESSENTIALLY PROVE SIZING THE
INTERNET, AN ELECTRONIC
TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD
INSTANTANEOUSLY COMMUNICATE US
ALL OVER THE WORLD, INDEPENDENT
OF WHERE WE WERE.
SO THE IDEA IT WOULD TURN THE
GLOBE INTO A VILLAGE WHERE WE
WOULD ALL BE CONNECTED, WE WOULD
GET TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER, WE
COULD CONNECT INSTANTANEOUSLY.
THAT WAS THE IDEA OF A VILLAGE.
A VILLAGE IS SOMEWHERE WHERE
EVERYONE KNOWS EACH OTHER,
THERE'S AN INTIMACY OF
CONNECTION.

Steve says NOW YOU'RE ASKING
WHO IT IS.

Ramesh says EXACTLY.
IT'S INCREDIBLE HOW WE HAVE A
WORLD WITH ABOUT 4 TO 5 BILLION
PEOPLE ONLINE, BUT THE
TECHNOLOGIES THAT DOMINATE THAT
CONNECTIVITY COME FROM A VERY,
VERY SMALL PART OF THE WORLD.
ACTUALLY, THE SAME PART OF THE
WORLD THAT I'M FROM AND THAT I
SAW FIRSTHAND, AND I'M TALKING
ABOUT SILICON VALLEY AND
SPECIFICALLY THE WEST COAST OF
THE UNITED STATES.

Steve says YOU'RE TAKING QUITE
A SORT OF COUNTER THE
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM VIEW ON
THIS, BECAUSE OF COURSE I THINK
MOST PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT THE
INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA AND A
WIRED WORLD WOULD MAKE US...
WOULD CERTAINLY LEVEL THE
PLAYING FIELD AND MAKE US ALL
MUCH MORE CONNECTED, BUT YOU'RE
EXPRESSING FEARS THAT THIS COULD
MAKE THE WORLD MUCH MORE
UNDEMOCRATIC AND UNLEVEL.
HOW COME?
WHERE DO THOSE FEARS COME FROM?

The caption changes to "Ramesh Srinivasan. University of California."

Ramesh says ALMOST
EVERY EMPIRICAL RESEARCH STUDY
I'VE LOOKED AT ACTUALLY SHOWS
THAT WHILE THE INTERNET IS NOT
THE CAUSE OF INEQUALITY, IT
ACTUALLY AMPLIFIES INEQUALITY.
IT TAKES OUR EXISTING
INEQUALITIES AND EXTENDS THEM
AND INCREASES THEM.
AND THE REASON WHY ARE TWO MAJOR
REASONS: ONE IS THE PLATFORMS,
THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT ACTUALLY
SHAPE OUR EXPERIENCE OF
CONNECTING AND COMMUNICATING
WITH ONE ANOTHER ARE DOMINATED
BY BLACK BOXES THAT COME OUT OF
SILICON VALLEY.
SO THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE
MONEY AND POWER THAT HAS ACCRUED
THROUGH THOSE TRANSACTIONS ARE
ACTUALLY ACCRUED BY INVESTORS
AND CEOs AND ENGINEERS, OF
WHICH THERE ARE VERY FEW IN
THESE COMPANIES.
BUT THE SECOND REASON IS IF
YOU'RE WEALTHIER OR MORE
POWERFUL, YOU TEND TO HAVE THE
SKILLS ALREADY TO BEST EXPLOIT
THE TECHNOLOGY, RIGHT?
SO YOU CAN SEE HOW SOMEONE, FOR
EXAMPLE, WHO MIGHT HAVE SOME
MONEY, SAY, YOU KNOW, I WAS
WEALTHY AND YOU WERE POOR OR YOU
ARE WEALTHY AND I WAS POOR, YOUR
WEALTH WOULD ALLOW YOU TO USE
THE INTERNET, FOR EXAMPLE TO
MAKE LARGE-SCALE INVESTMENTS,
RIGHT?
AND YOU COULD ACTUALLY USE THE
INTERNET TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
DISPROPORTIONATELY MORE THAN I
WOULD BE ABLE TO.
THESE ARE TWO MAJOR WAYS IN
WHICH INEQUALITY IS EXTENDED
ECONOMICALLY, POLITICALLY WE SEE
THE SAME STORY, AND CULTURALLY
BECAUSE THESE TECHNOLOGIES ARE
DOMINATED BY THE WEST COAST OF
THE UNITED STATES AND THE
IDEOLOGIES AND THE BELIEF
SYSTEMS OF MAINLY, TO BE HONEST,
WHITE MALES, IS AN ISSUE.

Steve says YOU GIVE ME THAT
EXAMPLE AND I'LL GIVE YOU AN
EXAMPLE BACK.
THE PROVERBIAL FARMER IN A FIELD
IN THE MIDDLE OF, LET'S SAY,
SRI LANKA, WHO THROUGH THE USE
OF HIS OR HER CELL PHONE IS ABLE
TO TAP INTO INFORMATION AND
POSSIBILITIES THAT TEN YEARS AGO
WERE SEEN IMPOSSIBLE.
WHERE'S THE UNLEVELING IN ALL OF THAT?

Ramesh says THERE
ARE EXAMPLES LIKE THAT, AND
THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT, YOU
KNOW, AN ENTREPRENEUR OR, YOU
KNOW, A LOCAL FARMER, PER YOUR
EXAMPLE, CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
TECHNOLOGY.
BUT ON THE SURFACE WE FIND THAT
THE PEOPLE THAT BEST TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF TECHNOLOGY, EVEN
MORE SO THAN THE POORER PEOPLE,
ARE THE PEOPLE ALREADY AT THE
TOP.
SO THE ISSUE HERE IS NOT THE
SPECIFIC PROJECTS WHERE PEOPLE
OR COMMUNITIES CAN USE
TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT
THEMSELVES, THIS BOOK IS FULL OF
EXAMPLES OF THAT.
BUT IT'S MAKING THE ARGUMENT
THAT WE NEED TO DEVELOP
PLATFORMS, TECHNOLOGIES, LIKE
GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
AND AMAZON EVEN IN ITS OWN WAY
ARE MORE CONSCIENCE OF CULTURAL
DIFFERENCES AND INEQUALITIES
THAT EXIST.

Steve says WHAT ROLES DO YOU
THINK THOSE BRAND NAMES YOU
MENTIONED HAVE PLAYED IN THIS
PHENOMENON THAT YOU'RE
DESCRIBING?

Ramesh says THEY'RE
THE CAUSE OF MANY OF THESE
ISSUES THAT I'M EXPLAINING.
AND THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY ME
TRYING TO POINT BLAME AT THEM IN
A KIND OF...

Steve says THAT'S DIPLOMATIC.

The caption changes to "Ramesh Srinivasan, @rameshmedia."

Ramesh says FAR MORE
DIPLOMATIC THAN TO DO IT IN THIS
DIRECT A WAY.
MY GOAL IS TO REVEAL CONSEQUENCE
OF ENGINEERING THAT OCCURS IN
VERY SMALL, MYOPIC ENVIRONMENTS,
RIGHT?
THIS IS SOMETHING I TOO WAS
COMPLICIT IN.
I'M A FORMER ENGINEERING.
I DID MY UNDERGRADUATE AT
STANFORD AND WENT TO M.I.T.
WE THINK OF OUR TECHNOLOGY
PROJECTS AS ACTUALLY IN A
VACUUM, IN A BOX, RIGHT?
BUT WHEN THESE TECHNOLOGIES
MIGRATE TO OTHER PARTS OF THE
WORLD, THE REALITY CHANGES,
RIGHT?
THE REALITY ACTUALLY IS FAR MORE
COMPLEX THAN WE TAKE INTO
ACCOUNT.
SO WHEN FACEBOOK, FOR EXAMPLE,
SPEAKS OF LIKE THE FAKE NEWS
PROBLEM IN RELATION TO, LIKE,
YOU KNOW, OUR WONDERFUL ELECTION
IN 2016, THEY SAY, OH, THIS IS A
PROBLEM BECAUSE THE TECHNOLOGY
SCALED SO FAR IN WAYS WE
COULDN'T CONTROL.
BUT FACEBOOK WANTS THE
TECHNOLOGY TO SCALE SO FAR
BECAUSE THAT'S WHY IT'S ONE OF
THE MOST POWERFUL COMPANIES IN
THE WORLD.
SO IT HAS TO ACTUALLY CONNECT
WITH THE COMMUNITIES THAT IT
ACTUALLY SERVES AND GIVE THEM
GREATER POWER OVER HOW FACEBOOK
MIGHT BE USED IN THOSE CONTEXTS
OR HOW FACEBOOK MIGHT EVEN BE
DESIGNED OR DEVELOPED.
SO WE NEED TO DECENTRALIZE
GOVERNANCE OF DESIGN OF
TECHNOLOGY.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says HOLD THAT THOUGHT.
I WANT TO GET TO WHAT YOU WANT
TO DO ABOUT IT IN A SECOND.

Ramesh says SURE.

Steve says I DO WANT YOU TO
PLAY IT FORWARD FOR US.
GO 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
IF, THE WAY IT'S BEEN IS THE WAY
IT CONTINUES TO BE, WHAT KIND OF
A WORLD DO YOU SEE WAITING FOR
US IN A COUPLE OF DECADES?

Ramesh says RAPID
ACCELERATION OF INEQUALITY ON
MANY DIFFERENT LEVELS.
YOU HAVE TO RECOGNIZE, FOR
EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU GO OUTSIDE
HERE AT THE STUDIOS, YOU CAN
CATCH AN UBER, RIGHT?
SO AN UBER... UBER IS ONE
EXAMPLE OF A PLATFORM WHERE NONE
OF THE CARS, NONE OF THE LABOUR
ARE NECESSARILY CONTRIBUTED BY
UBER, THE COMPANY, UBER, THE
CEO, OR UBER'S SHAREHOLDERS,
RIGHT?
THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT WE SEE
OCCURRING.
THE ATOMIZATION OR FRAGMENTATION
OF LABOUR.
YOU KNOW WHAT'S NEXT.
I'M NOT TRYING TO BE MR. DOOM
AND GLOOM.
I PROMISE YOU, I'M JUST
RECOGNIZING WHAT'S OCCURRING AND
ASKING US TO STEM THE TIDE, IS
AUTOMATION.
AUTOMATED VEHICLES.
FOR EXAMPLE, I'VE NOTICED THAT
AMAZON HAS BOOK STORES RIGHT
HERE, RIGHT?
THOSE BOOK STORES ARE GOING TO
BE POWERED VERY VARIOUS FORMS OF
AUTOMATION.
CARS ARE GOING TO BE AUTOMATED,
AUTOMATED VEHICLES.
YOU KNOW WHAT ONE OF THE LARGEST
EMPLOYERS, AND I THINK IT'S TRUE
IN CANADA AS WELL, OF PEOPLE IS
IN THE UNITED STATES OR POSSIBLY
IN CANADA ARE TRUCK DRIVERS,
RIGHT?
SO THESE THINGS ARE GOING TO BE
OUTMODED.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE MACHINES
THAT ARE OWNED BY THESE
COMPANIES THAT ARE PRIVATELY
OWNED REPLACING MANY FORMS OF
HUMAN LABOUR AND ACTIVITY, AND
THIS IS GOING TO EXPAND SOME OF
THESE DYNAMICS OF INEQUALITY.
SO WHILE THE BOOK IS PRIMARILY
ABOUT KIND OF CULTURAL AND
GLOBAL ISSUES, THESE ISSUES ARE
VERY, VERY RELEVANT WHEN WE
THINK ABOUT ECONOMIC ISSUES AS
WELL, WHICH I THINK A LOT OF
PEOPLE CAN GET AROUND.
SO WE NEED TO DEVELOP POLICIES
AND WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT
LABOUR AND COMPENSATION THAT
RECOGNIZE THE ONSET OF
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

Steve says RAMESH, LET'S PLAY A
CLIP HERE BECAUSE... WELL,
NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE IS ANOTHER
GUY YOU KNOW WELL AT THE M.I.T.
LAB.
HE DID A TALK ABOUT ONE LAPTOP
PER CHILD.
WHICH WAS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE
GREAT LEVELERS IN THE WORLD,
FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET GOOD
CHEAP LAPTOPS TO KIDS WHO
OTHERWISE WOULDN'T HAVE A CHANCE
OF GETTING THEM.
SHELDON, LET'S ROLL THIS CLIP.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Nicholas Negroponte. February, 2006."
In the clip, Nicholas walks around a stage as he addresses an unseen audience. He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair.

He says A LITTLE BIT MORE RECENTLY I
GOT INVOLVED PERSONALLY AND
THESE ARE TWO ANECDOTES, ONE WAS
IN CAMBODIA IN A VILLAGE THAT
HAS NO ELECTRICITY, NO WATER, NO
TELEVISION, NO TELEPHONE, BUT
HAS BROADBAND INTERNET NOW, AND
THESE KIDS, THEIR FIRST ENGLISH
WORD IS GOOGLE AND THEY ONLY
KNOW SKYPE.
THEY'VE NEVER HEARD OF
TELEPHONY, THEY JUST USE SKYPE.
THEY HAVE A HUT THAT DOESN'T
HAVE ELECTRICITY.
THE PARENTS LOVE IT BECAUSE WHEN
THEY OPEN UP THE LAPTOPS, IT'S
THE BRIGHTEST LIGHT SOURCE IN
THE HOUSE.
AND TALK ABOUT WHERE METAPHORS
AND REALITY MIX, THIS IS THE
ACTUAL SCHOOL.

A picture pops up of children outside a small school.

The clip ends.

Steve says IS THERE A
DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY TECHNOLOGY
IS USED IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
THAT NEGROPONTE WAS REFERRING TO
THERE VERSUS SILICON VALLEY,
CALIFORNIA, NORTH AMERICA,
WHATEVER?

The caption changes to "Digital stories from the developing world."

Ramesh says IT'S
REALLY STRIKING IN THAT CLIP
THAT YOU SHOWED.
I'M REALLY GLAD YOU SHOWED IT.
I TALKED ABOUT IT IN THE BOOK,
ACTUALLY.
HOW LITTLE RESPONSIBILITY OR
PERHAPS FAITH THERE IS IN THE
CAMBODIAN PEOPLE THEMSELVES.
YOU KNOW, THERE'S THIS IDEA THAT
TEACHERS ARE SOMEHOW, LIKE, YOU
KNOW, EXCESSIVE OR UNNECESSARY,
THAT PARENTS CAN'T WAIT FOR THE
LAPTOP'S LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE THE
HOUSE.
GOOGLE IS SOMEHOW SOME SORT OF
FAMILIAR OR DOMESTICATED TERM
THAT COMES OUT OF THE CAMBODIAN
CONTEXT WHEN WE KNOW NONE OF
THOSE THINGS ARE ACTUALLY TRUE.
SO THERE'S NO DOUBT, THERE ARE
PROFOUND DIFFERENCES IN THE WAYS
PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD, BASED
ON THEIR CONSTRAINTS, BASED ON
INEQUALITY, USE TECHNOLOGY.
THAT'S WHY, TO THE POINT YOU
MADE EARLIER ABOUT A FARMER
USING TECHNOLOGY TO EMPOWER
HIMSELF OR HERSELF OR THEIR
COMMUNITY, THAT'S A WONDERFUL
THING.
BUT MY POINT IS THAT GOOGLE
CAN'T SIMPLY SAY, WE ARE SOLVING
PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS WHEN ACTUALLY
THE LION'S SHARE OF VALUE IS
EXTRACTED FROM THE FARMER BY
GOOGLE.

Steve says WHAT'S GOOGLE'S MOTTO?

Ramesh says DON'T BE EVIL.

Steve says RIGHT.
YOU THINK THEY ARE BEING EVIL?

Ramesh says I THINK
SOME OF THESE ACTIONS CAN HAVE
VERY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES AT
THE UPSHOT OF IT ALL.

Steve says I DON'T HAVE TO TELL
YOU, YOU'RE SPITTING IN THE WIND
OF A LOT OF CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
AND THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
OBVIOUSLY PAINTS A VERY ROSY
PICTURE AND A GOOD STORY ABOUT
HOW TECHNOLOGY ENABLES THE WORLD
TO DO ALL SORTS OF STUFF IT
OTHERWISE WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO
AND HERE'S YOU MR. DOOM AND
GLOOM PAINTING THIS VERY
CAUTIONARY TALE WE'RE GOING TO
HELL IN A HANDCART BECAUSE OF
IT.
I MAY BE EXAGGERATING A LITTLE
BIT TO PROVOKE YOU A LITTLE BIT.

Ramesh says LET ME
PROMISE YOU THIS BOOK IS HIGHLY
POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC BECAUSE
IT'S BASICALLY ARGUING THAT
THESE TECHNOLOGIES THAT DOMINATE
THE WORLD, RIGHT?
GOOGLE HAS TWO TO THREE BILLION
USERS WHICH IS ALMOST
THREE-QUARTERS OF THE
INTERNET-USING POPULATION.
KEEP IN MIND 700 MILLION OF
THOSE PEOPLE ARE IN CHINA.
THEY'RE ON THEIR OWN INTERNET,
THE INTRANET, ACTUALLY.
FACEBOOK OWNS WHAT'S APP AND
OTHERS.
THERE ARE MASSIVE NUMBERS OF
PEOPLE.
THE POINT I'M TRYING TO MAKE IS
THOSE PLATFORMS ARE EXTRACTING
SO MUCH POWER AND SO MUCH VALUE
THAT IT'S NOT ABOUT A HUMAN
USING TECHNOLOGY, IT'S ABOUT
PEOPLE BUYING INTO THOSE BLACK
BOXES.
SIMPLY SIGNING ONTO THOSE TERMS
OF SERVICE.
LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.
WHEN YOU GO ON FACEBOOK OR
INSTAGRAM, WHAT DO YOU GO ON TO
VIEW, STEVE?

Steve says WHEN I GO ONTO FACEBOOK...

Ramesh says WHY DO YOU LOG ON?
MY POSTS.
OR I GO ON TO VIEW YOUR POSTS.
THERE IS THE VALUE OF THE
PLATFORM ITSELF AND IT SHOULD BE
RECOGNIZED AND COMPENSATED.
BUT THE OTHER VALUE OF THE
PLATFORM, ALL THE CONTENT IS
PRODUCED BY US FOR FREE,
UNCOMPENSATED.
EXACTLY.
WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE
EXPANSION OF THAT INTO THESE
VARIOUS ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT
SYSTEMS WHICH ARE BASICALLY ONLY
POSSIBLE... I USED TO WORK ON
A.I... IT'S ONLY POSSIBLE
BECAUSE THERE'S BETTER
PROCESSING POWER, BETTER
COMPUTATION AND THE MAIN REASON
IS BECAUSE ALL OF US ARE ALL THE
TIME GIVING UP OUR DATA IN WAYS
WE DON'T UNDERSTAND.

Steve says BUT ARE YOU IGNORING
ANOTHER SIDE OF THE STORY, WHICH
IS... AND I KNOW YOU'RE NOT, BUT
AGAIN I'M TRYING TO PROVOKE YOU
A BIT HERE... EVERY TIME PEOPLE
GATHER IN THE STREETS OF AN
AUTHORITARIAN STREET THESE DAYS
IT'S A FACEBOOK REVOLUTION.
THAT'S HOW PEOPLE ORGANIZE.
THAT'S A KEY PART OF THE STORY,
ISN'T IT?

Ramesh says YOU SAID
THAT TO PROVOKE ME.
THREE YEARS OF MY FIELD WORK IN
THE SUMMERS, TO BE COMPLETELY
HONEST, WAS SPENT IN TAHRIR
SQUARE.
YOU SET ME UP WELL WITH THIS
ONE.
WHEN I WAS OUT THERE I FOUND
PEOPLE WERE NOT CONNECTED TO
THESE TECHNOLOGIES AND PEOPLE
WHO WERE CONNECTED TO THESE
TECHNOLOGIES WERE CAUGHT IN
BUBBLES.
WE USE THESE WORDS BUBBLES, ECHO
CHAMBERS AND SO ON, AND THEY
QUICKLY REALIZED THAT THEY
REPRESENTED SUCH A SMALL
PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION AND
THEY WERE ABLE TO GET PEOPLE
LIKE ME IN THE UNITED STATES,
WHO IS INTO WHAT THEY WERE
DOING, TO JOIN THEIR FACEBOOK
GROUPS.
HOW IMPORTANT AM I REALLY TO
THEIR MOVEMENT?
SO I AM IN MY OWN WAY, BUT THEY
BASICALLY REALIZED THAT USING
SOCIAL MEDIA, ESPECIALLY BLACK
BOX, TOP-DOWN, CORPORATE SOCIAL
MEDIA, MIGHT ACTUALLY BE HELPFUL
IN SPREADING YOUR MESSAGE TO
JOURNALISTS AND PEOPLE LIKE
YOURSELF AND MYSELF...

Steve says OR DECISION-MAKERS
IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ramesh says IT COULD BE.
BUT IT WASN'T IN THAT CASE.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT MAY NOT
NECESSARILY BE THAT HELPFUL IN
ORGANIZING PEOPLE.
AND SO THE VAST MAJORITY OF
PEOPLE THAT WERE PROTESTING IN
THAT CASE WERE BROUGHT THROUGH
OTHER MODES OF CONNECTING.
SO THERE'S A SORT OF
DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD WITH THINKING
ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA AS A CATALYST
FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTIVITY OR FOR
PROTESTS.
IT CAN BE HELPFUL, BUT IT
SHOULDN'T BE LIKE THE TEMPLE WE
BOW TO BECAUSE THERE ARE ALL
THESE OTHER TRANSACTIONS, RIGHT?
ANY TIME WE GO ONLINE AND
ACTUALLY ANY TIME WE'RE NOT
ONLINE WHEN WE SIMPLY CARRY OUR
PHONE WITH US, THERE ARE A
NUMBER OF BIG DATA,
DATA-ORIENTED TRANSACTIONS, THAT
WE'RE NOT AWARE OF, AND I'M
ASKING FOR THOSE COMPANIES TO BE
MORE TRANSPARENT TO US, NOT JUST
IN THE WEST BUT ALSO RECOGNIZE
THE VOICES AND VALUES OF THE
VAST MAJORITY OF THE INTERNET'S
USERS ARE NOT FROM CANADA,
THEY'RE NOT FROM THE UNITED
STATES, EVEN THOUGH THE
TECHNOLOGIES COME FROM HERE.

Steve says LET'S FOLLOW UP IN
THIS LINE OF QUESTIONING THEN,
BECAUSE CLEARLY WE'RE NOT GOING
TO SHUT DOWN THE INTERNET
BECAUSE YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT
THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF IT.
SO THERE DOES HAVE TO BE A
CHANGE IF WE'RE GOING TO FOLLOW
YOUR LINE OF THINKING ON THIS.

Ramesh says SURE, YEAH.

Steve says WHAT DO YOU SEE?

The caption changes to "Stop, collaborate and listen."

Ramesh says THIS IS
EXACTLY WHAT I'M WRITING ABOUT
RIGHT NOW.
I'M ARGUING FOR A NEW DEAL FOR
THE INTERNET, THINKING ABOUT
SOME OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE
NEW DEAL.
I KNOW THAT'S A REALLY OLD...
THAT'S AN OLD NEW DEAL, IF YOU
WILL, IN THE UNITED STATES.
BUT I'M THINKING ABOUT IT
GLOBALLY.
SO I'M THINKING ABOUT HOW WE
NEED TO THINK ABOUT LABOUR IN
OUR FUTURE, WE NEED TO THINK
ABOUT HOW PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE
COMPENSATED, WHAT KINDS OF JOBS
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE DOING,
DIGNIFIED LABOUR.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN IS NOT
GOOD ENOUGH, RIGHT?
THAT JUST MEANS SOME SORT OF
RETURN TO THE PAST THAT WE KNOW
IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT A NEW
DIGITAL ECONOMY THAT SUPPORTS
PEOPLE FIRST AND THEIR WAGES AND
THEIR LIVELIHOODS.
THAT'S PART ONE.
PART TWO IS USERS NEED TO BE
EDUCATED AND WE NEED TO FIGURE
OUT WAYS IN WHICH THOSE
COMPANIES CAN WORK WITH US AS
USERS THROUGH WHAT I CALL A
SOCIAL CONTRACT, RIGHT?
THERE ARE EXAMPLES OF COMPANIES
AND BUSINESSES, I'M SURE TVO IS
ONE OF THEM, THAT WORK IN A WAY
THAT'S VERY ACKNOWLEDGING OF
THEIR CONSUMERS, OF THEIR USERS,
RIGHT?
SO THOSE COMPANIES AND THOSE
USERS NEED TO BE AWARE OF THINGS
LIKE WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH MY
DATA.
WHY AM I SEEING WHAT I'M SEEING?
WHAT ELSE MIGHT I SEE?
WHAT DATA IS BEING BOUGHT AND
SOLD ABOUT ME?
HOW ARE THE ADVERTISEMENTS THAT
I'M SEEING AFFECTING MY LIFE?
THERE ARE SOME THINGS.
I MEAN, SOME OF THEM ARE MORE
AMBITIOUS PROPOSALS, SOME OF
THEM ARE MORE REALISTIC.
AND THE THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANT
ISSUE AND RELATED TO THIS BOOK
AS WELL AS THE STUFF I'M WORKING
ON RIGHT NOW, IS THE KIND OF
GLOBAL COMMUNITY, THE CULTURAL
QUESTION ON THINGS.
SO MY POINT REALLY HERE IS THAT
WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE IDEA
OF WHAT A COMMUNITY IS INSTEAD
OF THINKING THAT OUR SOCIAL
MEDIA PROFILES OR OUR SOCIAL
MEDIA ACCOUNTS ACTUALLY BRING US
COMMUNITY WHEN WE KNOW IT'S
NOTHING LIKE THAT.
MARK ZUCKERBERG HIMSELF, CEO OF
FACEBOOK, FOUNDER OF FACEBOOK,
SAID WE KNOW COMMUNITY IS
DISAPPEARING, BUT FACEBOOK IS
NOT GOING TO BE A REPLACEMENT
FOR COMMUNITY.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE UNITED
STATES AND IN THE CANADIAN CASE
IT MIGHT BE SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT
IS THERE'S A PROFOUND DISTRUST
OF INSTITUTIONS.
PEOPLE DON'T TRUST THEIR
COMMUNITIES.
PEOPLE DON'T TRUST THE MEDIA.
AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY DO
WHEN THEY DON'T TRUST MEDIA OR
THEIR COMMUNITIES?
THEY GO ONLINE.
THEY GO INTO THEIR BUBBLES.
WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT INTERNET
TECHNOLOGY THAT SUPPORT OUR
COMMUNITIES.
THIS MIGHT SOUND LIKE, YOU KNOW,
WILD-EYED LIBERAL VISIONARY OR
IDEALIST, IF YOU WILL...

Steve says IT DOES SOUND LIKE
IT WILL REQUIRE A LEVEL OF
POLITICAL INTERVENTION THAT
HERETOFORE WE HAVE NOT SEEN.

Ramesh says I'M
ASKING US TO REMEMBER THE
INTERNET WE SEE TODAY IS NOT THE
INTERNET OF FIVE OR TEN YEARS
AGO.
IN THE LATE 1980s, I KNOW IT'S
A LONG TIME AGO, THERE WERE NO
COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS EVEN
ALLOWED ON THE INTERNET.
IT WAS COMPLETELY
NON-COMMERCIAL.
AND EARLIER HISTORIES OF THE
INTERNET, JUST 10 YEARS AGO, WE
SAW PLATFORMS THAT ARE STILL
AROUND, LIKE CRAIGSLIST DOMINATE
THINGS.
CRAIGSLIST WAS NOT BASED ON THE
KIND OF BUYING AND SELLING OF
YOUR DATA.
IT WASN'T A BLACK BOX.
IT MADE MONEY, BUT IT WAS PEER
TO PEER AND COMMUNITY-BASED.
I COULD LOG ONTO THE TORONTO
CRAIGSLIST AND, LIKE, YOU KNOW,
BUY AND SELL THINGS.

Steve says IT'S ALL THERE.

Ramesh says OR GET A JOB, RIGHT?
THOSE ARE COMMUNITY NETWORKS.
AND THE INTERNET STARTED IN THAT
WAY.
SO I'M NOT SAYING WE NEED TO GO
BACK, NECESSARILY, BUT WE NEED
TO THINK ABOUT A FUTURE THAT
RECOGNIZES WHAT WE'VE LOST WITH
THE INTERNET THAT WE SEE TODAY.

Steve says RAMESH, WE HAVE
ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT.
I WANT TO READ A LITTLE EXCERPT
FROM THE BOOK AND HAVE YOU
COMMENT ON THAT.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "The digital revolution's promise." The quote reads "It is incredible to think about what may be possible when we think about technology locally and culturally rather than globally. The question is one of values, control, and voice. We are at a point in time where we can either embrace diversity or ignore it. We can accept that the promise of a digital equality is unfulfilled. To accept these challenges, we need to stop, look, listen, and collaborate."
Quoted from Ramesh Srinivasan, "Whose Global Village?" 2017.

Steve says PLAY IT FORWARD FOR US.
HOW'S THIS ALL GOING TO WORK OUT?

Ramesh says I MEAN,
IT STARTS BY THESE TECHNOLOGY
COMPANIES RECOGNIZING THAT THEY
ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY
PROFITING.
THERE'S A TRIUMPH OF CAPITAL
OVER LABOUR THAT WE SEE
OCCURRING IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.
THE WEALTHIEST AND MOST POWERFUL
COMPANY AND PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
ARE TECH GIANTS.
THEY NEED TO BE MORE
RESPONSIBLE.

Steve says WHO IS GOING TO MAKE
THEM, THOUGH?

Ramesh says INTERVIEWS LIKE THIS I HOPE ARE
GOING TO PUT A LITTLE PRESSURE
ON THEM TO THINK ABOUT SOME WAYS
THEY CAN OPEN UP IN VARIOUS
WAYS.
THE THING IS NOT EVERYBODY HAS
TO GET INTO EVERY ISSUE I'VE
BROUGHT UP.
YOU ONLY HAVE TO PICK THE ISSUE
YOU ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT.
RELATED TO THE QUOTE YOU JUST
MENTIONED, THE WORLD IS
FEATURING... A LOT OF PEOPLE
MIGHT BE INTO THIS, ESPECIALLY,
I BELIEVE, CANADIANS... THE
WORLD IS FEATURING AN
ASTONISHING LOSS OF DIVERSITY,
RIGHT?
NOT JUST BIODIVERSITY WITH
CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT ALSO LIKE
LANGUAGES, RIGHT, AND CULTURES.
AND THE INTERNET IS SET UP IN
THIS BLOCK BOX WAY WHERE IT'S
PRO-WESTERN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
DOMINATED.
WHEN I SEARCH FOR MATERIALS FROM
OTHER COUNTRIES I OFTEN GET WEB
PAGES THAT COME FROM THE UNITED
STATES.
SO THIS IS NOT SUPPORTIVE OF
DIVERSITY.
SO THE POINT I'M MAKING IN THIS
QUOTE IS, WITH THAT ISSUE, WITH
DIVERSITY ISSUES, WITH MAYBE
ISSUES AROUND WHAT ARE MY
GRANDKIDS OR EVEN MY CHILDREN OR
MYSELF IN 10 YEARS GOING TO DO
FOR WORK WITH ISSUES AROUND
INEQUALITY, WHICH IS SUCH A BIG
ISSUE IN THE UNITED STATES, AND
I BELIEVE ALSO IN CANADA, THESE
ISSUES PEOPLE CAN FIGURE OUT
WHICH ISSUE THEY CARE ABOUT.
WE CAN DO VARIOUS THINGS.
WE CAN CONTACT, WE CAN CONTACT
THESE COMPANIES, WE CAN PLAY
WITH OUR DIGITAL MEDIA PROFILES,
WE CAN WRITE OP-EDS, WE CAN DO
WHAT WE WANT TO DO.
I ALSO ENCOURAGE ENTREPRENEURS,
THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE NON-PROFIT
ENTREPRENEURS DEVELOP
ALTERNATIVES AND THERE ARE
EXAMPLES OF THAT.
WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT ETHICAL
ALTERNATIVES THAT FORCE THESE
COMPANIES THAT HAVE DOMINATED
THE INTERNET LANDSCAPE TO
ACTUALLY NOT JUST MINE OUR DATA
LIKE OIL BUT ACTUALLY
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY, AT THE
END OF THE DAY, ARE SUPPOSED TO
SERVE US AS HUMANS AND THE
COMMUNITIES WE'RE PART OF.

The caption changes to "Producer: Colin Ellis, @ColinEllis81."

Steve says "WHOSE GLOBAL
VILLAGE: RETHINKING HOW
TECHNOLOGY SHAPES OUR WORLD."
RAMESH SRINIVASAN, GOOD OF YOU
TO JOIN US AT TVO TONIGHT.
THANK YOU, RAMESH.

Ramesh says PLEASURE IS MINE.
THANK YOU.

Watch: The People's Internet